Newcastle City Council voted almost unanimously on Tuesday night to axe its Supercars event for good, by reinstalling permanent roundabouts and raised pedestrian crossings, and eventually ripping up the short permanent section of the circuit.
However, it also effectively reiterated its support for the ‘Wine Country 500', which the mayor of the neighbouring Cessnock local government area, Cr Jay Suvaal, floated in the wake of the cancellation of the 2024 Newcastle 500 in October.
Then, there appeared little to no substance to the ‘proposal' to host Supercars.
However, Cessnock claims now that it has held discussions with Destination Sydney Surrounds North, a branch of the Destination NSW tourism agency from which the Newcastle 500 was funded, reports the Newcastle Herald.
It also says it wrote to Supercars on Wednesday to express its interest in hosting an event.
Cr Suvaal declared that work would need to start early next year to have “any chance” of holding an event in 2025.
He is also cognisant of the local politics which spiked the Newcastle 500, with fierce resistance from East End residents pre-dating the event and ultimately causing its demise.
“We don't want to have something that will cause problems like it did in Newcastle, we want to make sure this is an event supported by the whole community,” said Cr Suvaal.
On what Cessnock stands to gain when Newcastle did not want Supercars, he explained, “I think keeping the event in the Hunter would be a fantastic benefit to the region as a whole, we've got a huge amount of motorsport fans here that want to watch a local Supercars event.
“We also have a huge amount of tourism businesses, and the more we can bring people to our region or showcase it on the world stage, the more chance we have of people coming here and spending time and money in our local economies.”
Speaking in October, Cr Suvaal suggested that Cessnock Airport (pictured above) could be used to create a race track, else it would take the form of a street circuit.
Cessnock is located west of Newcastle, on the opposite side of the freeway which links New South Wales' two largest cities, and is only 90 minutes from the north of Sydney by road.